Polls closed; 72% turnout reported
From CNN (Jan 30)
"The news is freedom has won," Al-Lami [of the independent election commission] said. "We have conquered terrorism."From Alaa, Iraqi author of the blog Mesopotamian:
I bow in respect and awe to the men and women of our people who, armed only with faith and hope are going to the polls under the very real threats of being blown to pieces. These are the real braves; not the miserable creatures of hate who are attacking one of the noblest things that has ever happened to us. Have you ever seen anything like this? Iraq will be O.K. with so many brave people, it will certainly O.K.; I can say no more just now; I am just filled with pride and moved beyond words. People are turning up not only under the present threat to polling stations but also under future threats to themselves and their families; yet they are coming, and keep coming. Behold the Iraqi people; now you know their true metal. We shall never forget the meanness of these bas…s. After this is over there will be no let up, they must be wiped out. It is our duty and the duty of every decent human to make sure this vermin is no more and that no more innocent decent people are victimized.Natalie Morales of MSNBC via Jeff Jarvis commenting on the turnout:
"That's not an election, that's a revolution."Chester compares the Iraqi elections to the civil rights movement in the US:
[H]ere's a final quote for you, from LBJ, before he signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965:Via Instapundit--Iraqi voters displaying their ink-stained finger (used to indicate that they have voted):
I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy.
I urge every member of both parties -- Americans of all religions and of all colors -- to join me in that cause.
At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.
So it is today in Baghdad.
UPDATE: More photos, via Yahoo news:
An Iraqi woman cries tears of joy after casting her vote, outside a polling station in the holy city of Najaf, Jan. 30, 2005.
Iraqi Shi'ite women wait in line to cast their votes at a polling station in the holy city of Najaf, Jan. 30, 2005.
After all car movements were prohibited, thousands of Iraqis make a trip on foot to the town of Al Alamara, Iraq, to place their votes Sunday, Jan. 30 2005.